For us, it’s hard to miss all the work we’ve done over these last few years.

And, it’s easy to take it for granted.

This is a portfolio slide show, that will give a depth and breadth to projects from entry here, to current summer we are within.

Let’s start with the kitchen, as it was, and as it is…

The white porcelain sink? No water there…it was a dry sink with a drain.

The French elders would carry buckets of water into the house, and wash up at the dry sink.

After plumbing, it is now used for quick cold water needs and to fill the kettle.

Where Liam is at the front window? He cut the door off and built a lower wall! The French would walk by and say ‘You cut the door!’

‘Oui!’  This front/east side area of the kitchen is now the breakfast nook.

Behind the kitchen is the ‘cuisine arriere’ or ‘back kitchen’ where all the work happens; dishes, washer, frig, freezer, you name it. We call it the scullery. All appliances are there outside of sweet slumber’s range.

The picture with a man at the back wall? That is now the porte finetre out into the garden. These two rooms, the beautiful chestnut kitchen and cuisine arriere behind it, open up in the warmth of summer onto the terrace and most prep work is done in the scullery for a meal.

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Then, we go to the downstairs bathroom.

Which is the door through from the scullery, into it!

We don’t have many before pictures of this area, except to tell you it was mud floor and home to goats and pigs:) We had pipes laid and a cement floor poured before we spent our first time here, so with those stubs where they were for water, we proceeded to put the clawfoot tub where it could go, the sink, toilet and bidet, AND then shifted to the walls where we got familiar with French plaster. It is amazing. Take an old stone wall, fill it, brush and seal it, into this beautiful creme finish. Add bathtub and ambiance, and voila!

Oh, did I mention the back wall? There is a before and after picture of that too … the new exterior bathroom wall, on the lower terrace.

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Then, of course, there’s the main living room which is ‘a song singing’ both in the winter with our heartful hearth, and in the hot summer, with the cool and quiet of east light; a respite either way.

Here it is, as it was, and as it is!

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And here are some BEFORE just-arriving garden shots…

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And here, to keep it simple, are the after shots early on, and now!

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Tomorrow I’ll tackle the upstairs for you!!!